The fact we were at war was in evidence all around us, as Cannon Company moved through France, Belgium and into Germany, the Eifel Forest and the Siegfried Line. Destroyed homes, villages, empty chateaus, wrecked vehicles, tanks, frozen dead Jerries, and even a body here and there hung against a pole with arm outstretched pointing towards Berlin, with a directional sign attached, all brought the fact home to us.
But nothing was as overwhelming as our first causualties, which occurred when we were moving into new gun positions in an area supposedly cleared of mines by a Mine Platoon. There were many mines stacked in a pile on the roadside, but some had been missed. One of the trucks hauled a 105 into the area for placement, and alighting from it was Tec 5 Walter Bernstein, the company mail clerk, who almost immediately stepped on a Schu mine and was seriously injured, as well as three other men were wounded. A few seconds later, a truck backing into the area to remove the men set off another! We were at war!